As reported by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ADLF), on June 20, 2014, a devastating turn of events occurred in the case of Tony the truck stop tiger. Advocates’ hopes that he was going to finally be allowed to go to a sanctuary were dashed. Previous articles about Tony’s situation have been published here, and you can find links to those at the end of this article.
Tony is a beautiful Siberian/Bengal tiger who has spent the last 14 years living in a small enclosure at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tate, La. Years of petitions and legal battles have been waged in an attempt to allow Tony to be sent to a sanctuary, where he can finally live in peace, far away from the incessant drone of diesel engines, the taunting by humans, and the stench of the fumes from the trucks and cars who come there 24/7. However, every time it appears there has been success, another roadblock is thrown up to keep Tony where he is.
The latest was Louisiana SB 250, signed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, which exempted Michael Sandlin, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop from the existing laws that specifically prohibit anyone from owning a large exotic cat such as Tony. Advocates had been so hopeful that Tony was finally going to be allowed to go to sanctuary, and then this latest legal wrangling took place, which once again resulted in Tony being forced to live at the truck stop.
The ADLF has been helping in the legal battle for Tony for years, and they have never given up on him. On June 24, 2014, in response to this shocking exemption given to Sandlin, the ADLF filed yet another lawsuit. This lawsuit has been filed against The Tiger Truck Stop, Michael Sandlin as the corporate owner of that business, the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, for violation of the existing public safety and animal welfare laws.
Tony has endured this nightmare for 14 years. His entire life is spent breathing in the toxic fumes from the huge trucks and cars that are constantly coming and going from the truck stop. People taunt him, throw garbage and even rocks at him through the bars of his cage, and he has never known a moment of true peace and quiet in his entire life. This magnificent animal should never be forced to live like this, and advocates must not give up on him, no matter how long it takes to make this right.
As reported by NBC33 News, a public hearing was held on Tuesday, September 3, 2014, regarding proposed new rules that could affect Tony and the Tiger Truck Stop. These new rules by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would have restrictions on what constitutes a zoo. Based on the information contained in these new rules, the Tiger Truck Stop would not meet the criteria, and Tony would have to be released to sanctuary. It was further reported that Sandlin stated he will file yet another lawsuit against the State if these new restrictions are approved.
Sandlin has adamantly maintained that Tony is well cared for, and there are no public safety concerns. However, as any animal advocate knows, being kept in a small enclosure in the conditions of diesel fumes, constant traffic noise, and taunting by humans is not the way an exotic animal such as Tony should live. Since Tony cannot live in the wild, life in a sanctuary, where he would have a huge expanse of property in which to run, stimulation appropriate for a big cat, proper food, and the nurturing of professional caretakers is what is best for Tony. He deserves to spend what is left of his life in peace and serenity.
If you wish to add your voice for Tony, please consider even just a small donation to the ADLF to help them with this crucial legal battle for Tony. You can read more about all that ADLF has done and continue to do for Tony, as well as make a donation to help with his legal costs at the following web address:
Tony is a beautiful living, breathing being, with feelings and emotions. He deserves to finally be free of this nightmare, and know what it is like to find true peace. While he can never be sent into the wild, a sanctuary specializing in big cats will offer him the next best thing. Please help the ADLF win this crucial lawsuit for Tony. He needs the help of advocates now more than ever, so he can live out what is left of his life, as close as possible to the way nature intended, with peace, quiet, and most of all, real love.
Click here for the Animal Legal Defense Fund information on the lawsuit to free Tony.
Click here for the article: “Victory for Tony the truck stop tiger“.
Click here for the article: “Tony the truck stop tiger still waiting“.
Click here for the website: “Tony’s Story: Free Tony the Tiger“.